Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Thank you all so much for your letters and phone calls
of encouragement and solidarity after hearing about
the unjust arrests of two BFC family members.
We are exploring every option and are feeling positive
and strong given the wealth of information we have received
regarding these unwarranted arrests and the unsolicited
Things in the field have changed. Most agree that
the attitude of law enforcement has taken a five-year
step backwards. All this week as BFC documented
bison harassment operations on public land - well within
our legal rights as a media organization, not to mention
our civil liberties - law enforcement officials working
for livestock interests were using any and every opportunity
to keep us from witnessing and telling the world what
these agencies are doing to the last wild buffalo in
the United States. These agencies have even gone
so far as to say that we are the ones harassing the
buffalo! Mark our words: the buffalo's story will
never go untold and these agencies will always be challenged
and held accountable.
Of course, we are dealing with the very same government
that attempted to kill all the buffalo and the Indian
people less than 150 years ago. The government
encouraged and participated in the buffalo slaughter
of the 1800s, yet they are oddly celebrated for choosing
not to finish them off after finding twenty-three buffalo
who saved themselves in the shelter of Yellowstone's
remote Pelican Valley. Now fenced-in public herds and
buffalo ranches make up the majority of buffalo (or
beefalo) populations in the U.S. and this is considered
a "conservation success," while the Yellowstone
buffalo, the last continuously wild herd, is prevented
from migrating and suffers harassment and death for
stepping foot across a political boundary.
The last wild buffalo are treated as ranch animals,
and the government-backed cattle industry spins their
propaganda machine to try and convince you that everything
is just fine. Nothing could be further from the
truth. If the mistreatment of the buffalo invokes
anger and frustration, turn it into action. In
the words of Ed Abby, "sentiment without action
is the ruin of the soul."
The "tolerance" agreement that the IBMP agencies
signed is null and void because the MT Board of Livestock
doesn't like it. The agencies never really put
it into place anyway, and now the the Montana Board
of Livestock (BOL) and stockgrowers associations are
complaining that there was too much tolerance.
At a recent BOL meeting the cattle interests even complained
to the DOL that they didn't bring the helicopter out
soon enough, and after one particularly aggressive hazing
operation, Meg Smith of the BOL called the DOL agents
to congratulate them on a job well done. There
has never been one iota of compromise on the cattle
industry's part, not one measure of cattle-focused risk
management; all the burden is carried by the native
wild buffalo. If one private rancher (who doesn't
even have cattle on the land yet!) has a problem with
native wild buffalo he should either remove his cattle
or put up a fence. Ironically, about a week ago
in Cody, Wyoming, a brucellosis-infected elk fetus was
found on a cattle ranch, and officials remarked that
since there were no cattle present, then there was no
risk of transmission. Given that Wyoming has just
been reclassified brucellosis-free, it seems that the
rules of this range-war change according whatever benefits
Yesterday the DOL hazed two bulls and the few remaining
moms and babies off of the Gallatin National Forest
into Yellowstone with their helicopter and then sent
in horsemen to push them deeper into the Park.
They kept repeating the phrase "receptive habitat
vs. lethal removal." While thankfully no
buffalo have been captured or slaughtered yet this spring,
the industrial-strength hazing operations create a veritable
war zone and take a tremendous toll on the buffalo and
the entire ecosystem.
While the livestock industry has failed to prove that
wild buffalo pose any threat of bison-to-cattle brucellosis
transmission, they have used this cattle-borne disease
to ensure that Montana will be devoid of wild buffalo
in order to hoard the grass for cattle. How can
an industry that is so dependent upon government subsidies
wield such decision-making power? Why do those
agencies mandated to protect and conserve wildlife cater
to the whims of cattle interests?
Stopping them is obviously not going to be easy, but
it is possible. Write letters, make phone calls, attend
meetings, participate in blogs, boycott beef, join us
on the front lines, be creative and tell everyone you
know what is happening to the last wild buffalo.
With "endless pressure, endlessly applied,"
together we will bring positive change.
The buffalo will never give up, and neither will we.
* Take Action for Wild Buffalo ~ Boycott Beef!
The decision-makers have decided to turn a deaf ear
to wild bison advocates, choosing to serve only the
economic interests of the harmful and heavily-subsidized
cattle industry. They wage a war against the wild
backed by government funds (your tax money), donning
hand cuffs and guns to intimidate anyone who goes against
them. Those who we should be able to turn to for help,
for justice, are all part of the problem, defending
"the market" rather than life on Earth.
It all comes down to the dollar; anything going against
that is to be ignored or even removed. Politicians
and decision-makers demonstrate time and again that
the only thing they will respond to is money.
Herein lies your power - we can put our money where
our mouths are. We can make our voices loud and
clear by voting from the pocketbook. The
cattle industry has a product to sell: beef.
If people don't buy it, the industry suffers the consequences.
It's the basic economics of supply and demand.
You have the ultimate power over the livestock industry:
you choose to buy their products or not. We are
For the wild buffalo and all the wild animals and lands
- and the cattle themselves - that suffer at the hands
of the cattle industry you can do one thing to make
a huge difference: BOYCOTT BEEF! It's that
simple. If you don't buy it, they don't
get your money. Boycotts originated with Irish tenant
farmers who were forced to grow food for the King of
England upon their stolen ancestral lands, and were
beaten and starved in the process. Thanks to those
courageous rebel souls, those days are long gone.
Boycotts work when people participate, so please urge
your friends, family and coworkers to join with you
in solidarity for the wild. Do the restaurants
you frequent sell beef? Encourage them to stop
(especially if it's beef from Western states) while
wild buffalo are dominated by the livestock industry.
If they aren't responsive, let them know that you will
Spread the word to save the herd ~ BOYCOTT BEEF!
Read "How the West Was Eaten" by Jeffrey
Visit BFC's Boycott Beef web page for more information
* BFC Family Reunion: Celebrate Ten Years on
the Front Lines!
It is hard to fathom that for ten years now, since April
of 1997, the Buffalo family has shown the world the
tragically disgraceful Yellowstone buffalo story.
All of the over 3000+ field volunteers, 20,000+ active
supporters, prayers, songs, and stories of everyone
who has done anything to help these sacred beings, your
presence is requested. Buffalo Field Campaign
would like to invite you to West Yellowstone for our
ten-year Buffalo Family Reunion during the week of June
4th through the 9th. From June 4th through the
8th we will be engaged in work projects around our property,
nightly campfires, reuniting, planning strategy, and
holding vision sessions.
Saturday, June 9th, we will celebrate with a party with
famed eco-rocker Danny Dolinger, gifted native musician
Good Shield, 7th Generation Rise, and BFC's own
volunteer band Prisoners of Time featuring Hays, Jesse,
and a rumored special appearance by the famed Wally
Festus Leusch. Beer will be served at the event.
Camping will be available at BFC headquarters.
It has been a long hard road for our friends and family
the buffalo and they still need all of our help.
Please come for the week, the weekend, in spirit or
in thought, but keep telling everyone you can of the
Yellowstone buffalo and their plight.
We will be holding a silent auction at the event and
are are looking for donated items. If you are
an artist, craftsperson or have any items or services
you would like to donate to the auction, please get
If you are interested in staying in town, need other
special arrangements, or have any questions about the
gathering, please contact Mike Mease at mease"at"wildrockies.org.
For the Buffalo,
P.S. If you are coming from or through Colorado
and have room for others, please let us know because
there are friends who could use a ride. Thanks!
* Support BFC: The Earth Friends Challenge
We are excited to let you know about a Challenge Grant
from Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation which has given
us the opportunity to raise $40,000 to fund BFC's front
lines efforts to protect the Yellowstone buffalo and
their right to migrate to their critical habitat within
Montana. Every donation made between now and the
end of May qualifies for the Earth Friends match.
All funds raised through this unique opportunity will
go directly toward achieving long-term protection for
Please help Buffalo Field Campaign remain a strong force
in the field and in all decisions affecting management
of this irreplaceable herd. Your support has enabled
us to bring worldwide attention to the last wild buffalo
in the U.S. and to hold government agencies and livestock
interests accountable. Thanks to the caring and
generosity of you, our supporters, and the unique opportunity
presented by the Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation,
we can keep our focus on the bison, where it belongs.
With your help we can raise at least $40,000 in support
of our front lines work through the Earth Friends Challenge
Grant. Ensure the future of BFC with a donation
today. If everyone receiving this email answers the
Challenge, we will exceed our fundraising goal and remain
a strong presence working in defense of the last wild
to make a secure online donation, or mail your monetary
gift to BFC, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.
Thank you for making BFC possible!
* Honor Father's Human & Wild ~ Handcrafted
Father's Day Cards Available!
Gifted maker of BFC's Mother's and Valentine's Day cards,
Kathleen Stachowski, is creating handcrafted cards
for the special men in your life. BFC is now offering
handsome handcrafted Father's Day cards! This
Father's Day, give the gift of conscience, justice and
compassion. Give the gift that honors fathers
both human and wild. Give a handcrafted buffalo bull
photo card that helps support BFC's work to defend the
We're offering just one: a smaller (4-1/4 X 5-1/2) photo
card featuring a bull bison photographed in Yellowstone
(photo image is a smaller, specialty size) and embellished
with decorative papers.
The sentiment reads: CELEBRATE STRENGTH! To go their
own way, to follow their wild spirit, to persevere and
endure. Buffalo Field Campaign is there to work for
their future. A gift has been made in your honor by
_________ to further this important work. Happy Father's
"We will be known by the tracks we leave behind."
~ Lakota proverb
Please order by June 1st. We'll mail your card
to arrive by Father's Day. Our small photo card
is priced at $15.
Here's how to order: Click on this link: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807
or click on the "Donate Now" button on BFC's
home page. Make at least a $15.00 donation. Under "Donation
or Order" select "Father's Day Card."
Scroll down to the "Father's Day Info Box and type
in the name and mailing address of the card recipient
and let us know how you would like the card signed.
You can also send a check along with the above information
to the mailing address at the end of this message. Just
make sure we receive your order by June 1.
Email barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org
* Last Words
Haikus for the Buffalo
by Japhy Ryder
~ The Sun
Sun's fiery light
A great glowing oasis
The brightest flashlight
A huge orange orb
Its love penetrates the heart
A great gift to life!
An ecosystem of very beautiful life
Let the bison roam!
Life moves in great leaps
where kids love wrestling Peet
Let us be happy!
A sweaty hot car
A sticky crammed container
When can we get out?
Sweat sticks to your form
Streaming down your body
Coldness is heaven!
~ The Field
Love flows strong
The buffalo try to roam
But they still cannot
The pen beats the sword
The buffalo need your help
We can feel their pain.
The camp has power
A big loving family
and Love IS Power!
We are united
like a huge buffalo herd
We share the same space.
~ Japhy has been a volunteer for the BFC for 6 years...he
is 10 years old. This Mother's Day he journeyed
to West Yellowstone from Colorado with 6 of his friends
to take action for the buffalo. Stay tuned for
more updates and photos from their trip!!